Blogging Bayport Alameda

November 11, 2021

Aggressive over counting

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:01 am

I’m not sure who put out the public records request about accessory dwelling units in Alameda and it’s not clear if they did it to try to prove that the City is underestimating the number of possible ADUs to help meet the RHNA allocation but it was certainly a really enlightening with that context. As a reminder the City thinks around 480 ADUs will be built in the 8 years covered by the new Housing Element. That means they think we can average 60 units per year.

Based on this list, the average since 2019 has been a bit less than 60 units per year.

In 2019, 26 units were built.

In 2020, 39 units were built.

In 2021, 64 units were built, so far.

So we’re looking at, on average, 43 units per year which is well under the amount. Of course the only reason why there is such an increase from 2019 until 2021 is because state law made it SO much easier to build ADUs by relaxing all sorts of requirements that cities like Alameda had added as a requirement to build ADUs which made it either prohibitively expensive to do or literally impossible.

I’ll add that an OGC commissioner spoke a recent, I think it was a Planning Board meeting, asking that requirements be added BACK to the laws around ADUs to make it more difficult to build ADUs again, because apparently she doesn’t understand that conflict between state and local housing laws, I dunno.

So maybe this was an attempt to AHA! the Planning Department and accuse them of deliberately undercounting the possible ADU number, but it would seem that the Planning Department was being aggressive based on past performance.


  1. Gee, I wonder who that OGC Commissioner is.

    Comment by Apple Strudel — November 11, 2021 @ 7:36 am

  2. Creating ADUs in existing housing stock should be low hanging fruit, but the city doesn’t make it easy…even in areas zoned for it. As part of the effort to meet RHNA requirements, the city needs to review its ADU process to maximize the number of ADUs that can be created.

    Comment by Allan Mann — November 11, 2021 @ 7:55 am

    • You’re correct. Add 6.2% inflation (the highest in 30 years) coming higher interest rates and supply chain problems, and you’ll see that most people who could afford to do it, have ready done it. To expect the rate to rise on private property is not grounded in economic reality. Seems to me that South Shore could make more money building actual houses, not tiny homes.

      Happy Veterans Day to all Alameda’s veterans.

      Comment by Really — November 11, 2021 @ 10:30 am

  3. I pulled ADU numbers last year in a PRA when I tweeted them. I’ve been pretty adamant that our ADU projecrs have been pretty liberal in housing element so far. Also SB 9 will cannibalize some of that. I have yet to see a community sustain ADU numbers after the initial build out without further incentives and changes to local codes to encourage them.

    Comment by zbowling — November 15, 2021 @ 12:06 am

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